Monday, 22 June 2009
On Friday night, we returned to the now legendary(ish) Combustion Club to enjoy a rum-fueled evening of Victoriana and circus freaks in celebration of Laura’s birthday. It was a less grand affair than the Carne Ville shenanigans that it played host to a little over a month ago, but we all got dressed up and had a splendid time nonetheless. There were flaming hula hoops, some guy who got pretty naked on a tightrope, and a big band version of the Dangermouse theme tune. Powerful.
Recovery the next day was aided by the ingestion of dried leaves in boiling water and fried stuff in bread, before I headed off to Castle Combe racing circuit with Laura and Matt, who does not collect 20th century German war memorabilia. We watched a whole host of classic and not-so-classic machines whizzing about, bimbled around the paddock area poking cars, and started getting ideas. More on this later…
I continued my overt stalking of Laura and Matt the following day by going karting with them. We were joined by Sam, Hollis (The Boy’s boy) and the irrepressible Dom, and took part in some kind of 150 lap endurance debacle. I got paired up with Sam who, despite his… erm… robust stature, proved to be quite competent behind the wheel of a kart. He drives a kart like he drives his car; with horrifying disregard for everyone else around him, making the task of getting past him tricky at best, death-defying at worst. We came in second, behind Dom and Hollis but ahead of Laura and Matt, who spent most of their time either collecting tyres or doing doughnuts around tiny circular tracks that only they could see.
In the evening Charlie and I played at being grown-ups by inviting everyone around for dinner. We had a table and chairs and wine and everything, and it was almost convincing; apart from the fact that we didn’t have enough wine glasses (I had to drink from a tankard instead), and we had to use books for placemats. And then we all wandered off towards the pub, and picked something else to dedicate our luncheon club to the destruction of, having smashed the Quintessons the previous week (they didn’t put up much of a fight).
So, a busy weekend. And the rest of the week? That… that wasn’t so busy. Grown-up work seems to have switched its core activities from investment casting, to digging big holes into which they can pour huge sums of money. As such, there’s no new projects being started, and therefore very little for me to be doing; forcing me to seek out other distractions. Such as me and Matt’s devious plans…
We want to race a car in the Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship. It’s still very much a twinkle in our collective eye, but we have started to give serious consideration to a number of the more important aspects of such a venture, like what our team should be called and what colour our car should be. Oh, and I suppose what sort of car, too.
The championship is divided into four classes of racing, so you don’t necessarily have to go for something fast and furious; you can go for something (relatively) cheap and crap instead. This idea appeals to us. Class D (the cheapest and crappest of the cheap and crap classes) seems to be mostly headed up by a lot of little French cars. This is because whilst most manufacturers have developed newer, cleaner and more frugal engines, and pack their cars with lots of safety features (making them quite heavy), the French still make archaic death traps. But neither of us are much into French cars, and would rather run something a bit different. So I’ve mostly been wasting time at work going through the online Parkers car guide, working out power to weight ratios in my head. I even started to draw up a spreadsheet so that we could more easily compare our different options; but I gave up after half an hour when I realized that because I’m such an obsessive completist, I was going to spend a ludicrous amount of time compiling data for rubbish Korean cars with names like brands of laxative that we had no intention of ever driving.
It’s become a mild obsession, and just like in Fight Club when Ed Norton starts to look at everyone he encounters with a view to how good they might be in a brawl, I can no longer walk past a parked car without checking to see what engine it’s got and trying to predict how quick it might go around a track if it weren’t weighed down with such needless impedimenta as, say, seats.
Meanwhile, I finished painting this sucker.
Count Drakon Von Carstein; wealthy playboy aristocrat governor of Sylvania.
Likes: Mindless subservience, billowing cloaks, blood of virgins.
Dislikes: Sunlight, Bretonnian cuisine, torch-waving peasants.
Monday, 8 June 2009
And so a few weeks ago, we moved house… big thanks to legendary man-with-van Kev, who gave up a day of work to lug all of our heavy crap in and out of his fine van, and up and down (but mostly up) our fine new stairs; to Sam, who gave up a day of sitting around in his underpants looking at pictures of hats on the internet to lug all of our slightly less heavy crap in and out of his perfectly adequate Volvo, and up and down (but mostly up) our fine new stairs; and to Charlie Cat, who found us an awesome place to live. Thank you Charlie.
After having spent the best part of a week compressing our entire lives into cardboard boxes and then an entire day moving it from a big place into a slightly smaller place, we weren’t massively enthused by the prospect of unpacking and sorting everything out. So we left our new home looking like this…
…and went to the pub instead, which is conveniently located next door. It’s quite nice there; they keep chickens, and have a wooden fort for us to play in.
Still, Charlie and I can be quite industrious when we want to be, and it didn’t take long for us to get everything ship-shape. Just in time for me to bugger off back to Exeter. Joy.
In other news…
- The Boy and I went to see bands at semi-respectable bar/live music venue The Croft. Tractor played trudging grind noise, and had a special pedal that made the guitar emit white noise at spleen ripping volumes; Alabaster Suns were good but ultimately quite forgettable; and Taint were as good as ever, and seemingly unfazed by the drunken suit-wearing middle aged colossus that climbed onto the stage to take extreme close-up photos of them, and then climbed off stage to take up-skirt photos of one of the girls in the crowd. What a class act. I assumed that he was some sort of wedding reception fugitive that had gotten drunk and lost at some point in the evening, and stumbled into The Croft by accident; but it turns out that he is some kind of unfeasibly wealthy online poker big shot, that just happens to really like Taint. And young women’s knickers.
- The RoboJEW and I went to see bands at crusty pub/breeding ground for virulent disease The Junction. Eaststrikewest were surprisingly good, and sounded like a post rock band with Buckley-esque vocals. And So I Watch You From Afar were staggeringly good, and deserve far more attention than they seem to be getting at the moment. And Maybeshewill were the band that followed ASIWYFA, and so were completely eclipsed by them.
- Our Luncheon Club Dedicated To The Destruction Of Nihilism stormed home to victory at the pub quiz a few weeks back. Having successfully seen off Bolshevism (twice) and Nihilism, we are now turning our attention to The Quintessons, the terrible five-faced levitating mechanical judges from Transformers The Movie that feed the innocent to transforming robot sharks. This means, amongst other things, that every week Matt and I have to explain to someone else what Quintessons are.
- At grown-up work, someone almost got killed/turned into glowing blue naked superhuman when they were locked inside the vacuum chamber of one of the furnaces. Fortunately someone heard the frenzied screams for help, and released the guy before the chamber was pumped down and his eyeballs boiled into vapour along with the rest of him. Health and Safety think this was a near miss brought about by the lack of adequate checks and procedures, and are pushing for the installation of more flashing lights and wailing klaxons and buckets of lasers. Plant Engineering (ie. us) think that the root cause was a bunch of dicks cocking about, and someone should be strung up for it. Apart from this, there’s been a whole bunch of nothing happening, which is bad because a) although I have a minor design project for lifting equipment on the go, it’s difficult to drag it out over two weeks; and b) it’s giving me lots of time to think. And thinking is bad right now.
- On the toy soldier front, I’ve finally finished painting the Marauders for my Chaos army (I’ve got 57 of these useless fuckers now), and am rewarding myself with something a bit different; a Vampire Count for my old Undeads team.
At the time of writing, Count Drakon Von Carstein is about half painted. He’s looking pretty cool so far; expect pictures when he’s fully done. Oh, and don’t think I’m done with the Beastmans – there’s more of those goat-legged jerks on their way too.
- I miss my kitty cat.
And that’s pretty much it for now. Postings will continue to be erratic until some guy turns up to make internets happen in our new flat; deal with it.